Above: Gottheimer with the League of Conservation Voters and Members of Congress.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On November 17, 2021, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) advocated for passing critical protections for clean air and clean water, to support North Jersey, alongside the League of Conservation Voters and Members of Congress.
The reconciliation package, along with the recently-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, will help New Jersey and the nation replace lead service lines, create good paying jobs, and more. It will do all this while restoring the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction and cut taxes for hardworking middle class New Jersey families.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which the President signed on Monday, has historic investments in bolstering our resiliency to deal with the once-in-a-century flooding, fires, and storms that have cost the United States more than $100 billion this year alone. Just look at Hurricane Ida and what it did in my state — flooding homes, business, and schools; washing roadways away; and, sadly, taking many, many lives. These costs will only get worse if we fail to act. We cannot afford not to act,” Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) said today. “These bills will also get led out of our drinking water, keeping our children and families safe, and will create millions jobs.”
Gottheimer has also helped pass climate and environmental legislation out of the House throughout his time in Congress:
H.R. 3684, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — once-in-a-generation investments in climate resilient infrastructure, creates new jobs, removes lead from pipes, upgrades our power grid, and invests in electric vehicles, buses, and mass transit systems.
H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act — to prohibit any funds from being used to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and to require the President to update a plan each year for the U.S. to meet its nationally-determined contribution under the Paris Climate Agreement, to tackle climate change nationally and globally.
The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act — to ban drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The PFAS Action Act — to get rid of forever chemicals in our water supply, remediate PFAS in the environment, and limit PFAS use going forward.
The Great American Outdoors Act — landmark conservation legislation to make historic investments to protect and improve our open public lands, national parks, and the incredible natural resources that our great nation has to offer.
Gottheimer’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
We are here today to recognize the concrete steps that we are taking to protect our air and water and our open spaces for our kids and grandkids — pragmatic, commonsense action in our fight for the future of our communities and our planet
When you talk about fighting climate change, at first it seems like an insurmountable task. But then you dig into it, and quickly realize we can take immediate steps now that will have both a short term and long-term impact on our lives — on our health, on our economy, and on our planet.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which the President signed on Monday, has historic investments in bolstering our resiliency to deal with the once-in-a-century flooding, fires, and storms that have cost New Jersey more than $50 billion in the last 10 years alone. Just look at Hurricane Ida and what it did in my state — flooding homes, business, and schools; washing roadways away; and, sadly, taking many, many lives.
These costs will only get worse if we fail to act. We cannot afford not to act. In 2020 alone, US taxpayers saw more than $100 billion in costs from climate related disasters and over the past five years these costs totaled more than $600 billion. Not to mention wildfires have burned over 6.5 million acres this year so far, costing nearly 90 billion.
The cost of inaction is simply far too high.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which Democrats and Republicans came together to pass, also will get the lead out of our childrens drinking water and build the electric vehicle infrastructure we need for the next generation of vehicles.
Now, we have another opportunity to take more of the steps we desperately need.
With the Build Back Better Act, we have the opportunity to deliver another critical part of the puzzle in our fight against climate change. This historic bill will include key incentives for families to move over to electric vehicles, for wind and solar power, and for utilities to upgrade their power grids and transition to clean energy sources. It will also invest more in replacing lead service lines, keeping all of our communities safe, and it will create jobs.
It will do all of this while cutting taxes for hardworking New Jersey families by restoring the State and Local Tax deduction or SALT.
Passing the Infrastructure Bill with Democrats and Republicans showed the world that climate change is a bipartisan issue. It’s not a partisan issue, it’s one where we can all come together for the good of our country and the good of our planet. We need to work together to get this done. And once the CBO analysis comes back, which I expect to and hope will match up with the White House’s and Treasury’s estimates, we’ll be able to move forward without delay.
Fighting for clean air, clean water, and a planet that our kids and grandkids can live on is something that has been a focus of mine since before I ran for Congress, and now we are finally here.
For New Jersey and for our whole planet, we must take action that will help us tackle climate change now and not later, so that here in the greatest country in the world, our best days will always be ahead of us.